Is your company ranking number one for your brand name? I hope so.
While a non-branded search helps drive new traffic that is at an earlier stage of the buying process, branded searches mean they are already considering you and are trying to dig up more information about your company. This has become the standard step, as our research shows that 81% of your potential clients will check you out online before doing business.
What will they see? Will it be your blog, your about page, or your available listings? Will it be your Yelp reviews? When someone is using their Google-fu to learn about you, what is the first thing that they want to see?
First and foremost, if you aren’t already topping the listings for your own brand name, you need to start there. Identify what keywords refer to you using Google Analytics, check the auto suggestions and related searches, and even depersonalized searches (by adding “&PWS=0” to your query) to identify what areas you need to fix, one by one.
If you are already ranking at the top under a branded search, that still might not be enough. More than 54% of consumers will research reviews before conducting business with you.
Branded Searches of Varying Quality
This morning I searched “Clearwater real estate investments Boise.” Clearwater did have the top search result, though what I saw under that wasn’t incredibly exciting. As a user, I will likely be able to find what I need if I dig around on their homepage, but the given information isn’t helpful at all.
A click through to their website shows contact information, but other than that there is literally nothing there to help a person learn about Clearwater. They haven’t even covered the basics of their business listing.
Nothing about this screams “obvious choice”
Additionally, a competitor has conquered the ad space above them, and the second listing is an Idaho Supreme Court case involving the company. The rest of the results look to be directories, so there is very little meat in the search. The image Google identified for their offices shows an empty parking lot. On top of all of that is the fact that there are no reviews.
Let’s just say a branded search for Clearwater Real Estate Investments didn’t give me warm fuzzies. What about a competitor?
A similar search using the brand “Capital Group” gives not just the home page, but three additional pages ranking at the top associated with the company. Instead of having to fish, a user interested in background information, investing, property management, or buying real estate could go directly to the most relevant result.
This branded search captures just about everything I could want.
Branded Search and Customer Confidence
This kind of search result builds confidence in the potential customer, as at this point they may know little about you or your company other than your name. If we look to the associated business listing in the right column, there are not only plenty of photos, but a whopping 39 Google reviews, with an overall rating of 4.3 stars.
It is important to note how I identified these two companies. They weren’t cherry picked. Just as 4/5ths of your potential customers will, I trusted Google to guide me to relevant real estate firms in my area, picked two near the top that sounded good and researched each individually. Each company did well enough on non-branded searches to get a chance to pitch to me, but Clearwater may have botched it.
Your branded searches matter. Winning at branded searches will improve your site quality score for your relevant keywords. It will affect users search suggest, improve your ranking for non-branded queries, and will help you appear in the related searches.